Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Lake Victoria Children

Hello, and a Very Happy New Year to you all.

We would like to introduce you to one of the people we have been in contact with.  He is Mr. Alex Magaga, who lives on the island of Ukerewe.  He is a teacher, and also Chairman of Lake Victoria Children.  He is also a volunteer with the Ukerewe Albino Society.

LVC is a registered community based organization which supports  many children orphaned by HIV/Aids,  and other disadvantaged children in the Lake Victoria fishing communities.  The priorities of LVC are Education, Feeding and Health.  At present LVC has 6 rented rooms.  Three are used as classrooms, one an office,
one for LVC tailoring shop, which is an income generating project where for a small fee, clothing is made, repaired or altered,
and one for day accommodation as some children rest in the day before being picked up by their guardians.

In 2008, a Childrens Feeding Project was started where orphans and other disadvantaged children, looked after by elderly grandparents, come every day to the centre to have breakfast (porridge) and lunch.  Otherwise most of these children often go without food in their elderly guardians houses, as they cannot afford to feed them. Unfortunately, at present, the centre can only afford to provide free food , education and health services for thirty children.  They have a further 18 children from the community whose parents pay for their Education, which helps with the costs for the orphans.  This project has successfully brought children together and made them feel happy and integrated in the world of children.  At the same time, this gives the centre sustainability,  and galvanises community responsibility.  There are NO orphanages on the island.

These children  at the centre, are aged between 3 and 6 years old, after which, they join normal primary school.  Even then they still get support from the centre e.g. exercise books, uniforms, mosquito nets etc. and their welfare is monitored in their respective schools.
LVC not only takes care of children at the centre, but has ambassadors in most of the villages who report regularly on the wellbeing of the underprivileged children. 

In 2010 in one village alone, they found 218 children living in difficult conditions, of which 58 were orphans.  There are 74 villages on the island, which gives an indication of the overall need for help and assistance to this community.

In 2011 a further 86 children, based in two villages were identified by the village ambassadors, as requiring assistance.  LVC visits and provides child care education to guardians for children, in the guardians homes, and also help with family income generating ideas for them to be able to support the children under their care.

LVC needs a permanent centre where they can accommodate children - doing away with rents.  They need some income generating projects to achieve sustainability and only then can they run independently.  Mr. Alex Magaga is very dedicated to this project and his dream is for a charity medical store; Library and Computer class; Vocational training for the older children, and a Cafe - again to raise operating funds.

The children you see here, are the lucky ones as Mr. Magaga  and his team are able to help them.  There are many, many more  vulnerable children, who through lack of funds, he is unable to help at this time.  These children deserve a chance in life, and we would urge anyone who can assist us, to do so - to show the children that 'WE CARE'.

Until the next time,

Best wishes
Diane and Derek

1 comment:

  1. Lake Victoria Children is a dream community based organization working by involving the local community to change lives of orphans and vulnerable children in Ukerewe Island fishing community, our source of strength has been the community we work in, Having people from a far community support our effort is a significant boost to our efforts, anyone joining us will find that giving a second chance to lives of vulnerable children in our community is exciting and highly rewarding !